News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Valley Life

February 10, 2013

Reception to honor donation of Chalos mayoral items

TERRE HAUTE — The Vigo County Public Library will be staging a reception to honor the donation of mayoral items by the children of Pete Chalos, four-term mayor of Terre Haute, at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Chalos was a life-long resident of Terre Haute, born in 1927 to Greek immigrants, John and Katherine Chalos. As a child, he sold newspapers and shined shoes at the corner of Seventh Street and Wabash Avenue, outside his father’s shoe store.

Chalos served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. As a student at Indiana State University, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He worked as a teacher, coach and school administrator for 30 years in the community. After serving on the Terre Haute City Council from 1972-1980, Chalos was elected mayor in 1980.

When Chalos took office as mayor, Terre Haute carried a negative image that had not changed much since a Saturday Evening Post article labeled Terre Haute as “Indiana’s Delinquent City.” As mayor, Chalos worked to create public-private partnerships for city parks. As a result, Terre Haute was one of only six cities to receive special recognition during the 1982 Annual Conference of Mayors. Chalos served as mayor from 1980 to 1996, second only to Ralph Tucker as Terre Haute’s longest-tenured mayor. Chalos then worked at Ivy Tech Community College as a recruiter and consultant. He wrote a regular editorial column for the Terre Haute Tribune-Star and published five books: “Pete Chalos’ Basketball Fundamentals,” “Growing Up in Terre Haute,” “Just a Thought,” “Mayor” and “Speak Out.”

Chalos died in June 2006.

The papers which the Chalos family donated shed light on the inner workings of a mayoral office. A selection of his papers, books and photographs will be on display in the library lobby during the reception.

The reception honoring the donation is open to the public and will begin at 5 p.m. with light refreshments. Speakers will include Chalos family members, Mayor Duke Bennett, library director Kristi Howe and Vigo County historian Mike McCormick.

The reception is open to the public.

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